Frances Bula

Recent Posts on BCBusiness

Oct 5, 2021
2021 Real Estate Report: With a push from COVID, the B.C. property market is reinventing itself

Lori Fell got a job a year ago as a human resources assistant at a major grocery and housewares store. The good, steady-paying work was a satisfying reward for having gone back to school in her 40s after being laid off from...

Apr 13, 2021
The pandemic has left some B.C. industries languishing while others forge ahead

Scott Jacob has worked in construction for 30 years. He’s seen a few recessions. But never the kind of meteor hit that happened last March, when pandemic lockdowns and panic arrived in B.C. The company he and his brother run, Jacob Bros Construction, had a dozen contracts for various improvements—parkades, asphalt aprons—at Vancouver International Airport. They were cancelled instantly, stopped mid-project with an urgent request that Jacob get his crews offsite as fast as he could...

Aug 26, 2020
B.C. 2.0.: Retailers try reinventing themselves to survive the COVID-19 pandemic

Blaine McNamee had already brought the dead back to life once in B.C.’s retail world. Then the pandemic came. McNamee is the guy who took over the empty storefront that had been home to the cherished Wonderbucks on Vancouver’s Commercial Drive—an...

Jun 19, 2020
A business plan for the end of the world

Emad Yacoub has survived downturns before. It was very rough during the 2008 world meltdown triggered by the collapse of the U.S. housing market. But even in the worst of times, his Glowbal dining empire, which today consists of nine...

Jul 19, 2019
Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum is back, but his future (and the city’s) is uncertain

Doug McCallum regained the Surrey mayor’s chair last fall by offering easy-sounding solutions when it comes to policing, transit and real estate development. The veteran politician says he’s changed along with B.C.’s second-largest city, but is he the right person to lead it into the future?

May 1, 2019
Prefab homes could solve housing shortages in B.C. and abroad

Louie Quilt hefts a sheet of drywall into a box about the size of a cabin sitting in the middle of the shop floor, the next step for what will become a compact studio apartment for a not-so-well-off resident of...

Oct 3, 2018
Split Decision: Housing crisis looms large in Vancouver civic election

A note from the author: Modern-day elections are famous for their last-minute dramas, with candidates getting knocked out of races as problematic information emerges about their pasts, as they stumble in the public spotlight, as their campaign strategies blow up...

Jun 22, 2018
Go out on top: The BCBusiness guide to retirement and succession planning

On April 22, 2019, Frances Bula's retirement guide won a gold SABEW Canada Best in Business Award in the personal finance and investing category. This is the fifth year for the awards, which are sponsored by the Canadian chapter of the...

Jun 4, 2018
Travel: Beautiful Sicilian islands worth the trip out of busy Italy

We’d gone to the main plaza in Siracusa for our usual evening walk and so that I could apply my investigative skills to what is said to be this Sicilian town’s best ice cream, at Gelateria Fiordilatte. Settled in at...

Aug 17, 2017
How to rent your home out on Airbnb

Emily Plommer knew from her own experience staying at Airbnbs that it was frustrating to rent an apartment with a full kitchen and discover that there wasn’t so much as a salt shaker or bottle of cooking oil in the...

Jun 16, 2017
How the real estate boom has left British Columbians feeling richer and poorer than they really are

Rachel Harriman and her husband have seven times their annual household income—which is in the healthy $100,000-plus bracket—socked away, thanks to the sale of a condo several years ago along with savings from their earnings. Justin Jacobsen, who makes a...

Nov 4, 2016
Here comes Santa Ono

At first glance, the new president of UBC is impossible to spot amid the throngs packed onto a plaza in front of the year-old, $107-million Student Union Building. But, looking closely at the way people have gathered on this pleasantly...

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